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Things To Do Deep In The Heart Of Texas

The Southern states in America have such a wide range of culture that it is hard to chose where to go. New Mexico has Spanish colonial architecture with a Hispanic culture. California is mostly associated with Hollywood, but it has roots in the cultures of Spain, Asia, Mexico, and the Eastern United States. But the one state you should really try to visit is the Lone Star State. Texas is a big area – about the size of most of Europe – so you’re better off choosing one city to explore during your visit. Here are a few hot destinations to help you narrow down your choices.

 

Austin

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If you’re a fan of music, Austin is a great place to tick off your bucket list as it’s the live music capital of the world; there are roughly 200 live music venues that you can catch a show at pretty much any day at any time, either at popular venues like the Moody Theatre, or downtown in hole-in-the-wall bars like The Continental Club on South Congress. Austin is also home to the largest urban population of bats in North America, estimated at 1.5 million bats. Each night, from mid-March to November, the bats emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food. Surprisingly, it’s become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas.

 

Mt Pleasant & Titus Country

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See the naturally beautiful side of Texas at Mt Pleasant & Titus Country. The pristine lakes, mountains, and preserved nature trails get visitors away from the hustle and bustle of city life that some have come to associate with Texas. Starting your day at magnificent hotels like the Super 8 Mount Pleasant, you could choose to go down to the lakes and indulge in some fishing, sunbathing, swimming, or hiking, or you could book a visit to Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards. Here, you can enjoy even more spectacular views, an extensive Tapas menu, and during the late summer you are welcome to join in the fun of harvesting the grapes. Mt Pleasant is also known for its great fresh produce, which you can buy at the local farmer’s market. It’s just the kind of country retreat that the doctor ordered.

 

Houston

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A vibrant culture scene awaits anyone who makes a stop in Houston; not only is it home to the NASA Johnson Space Center, but so many fascinating museums that you probably won’t see anywhere else. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is the closest you’ll get to visiting Jurassic Park, especially since when you see features like the Stegosaurus and a gigantic T-Rex in the 30,000-square-foot Hall of Paleontology. Houston also caters to even the most eclectic fashion senses, with clothing stores that specialise in authentic, vintage cowboy boots, as well as stores that feature designer labels like Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Valentino.

All the places in Texas offer a unique experience, so try ticking a few off your bucket list.  

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What To See Around The Pest Side of Budapest

 

It’s been several months since I visited Budapest in Hungary but the beauty of that place still lingers in my mind like it was just yesterday.  I have expected most of Europe to be similar in terms of architecture and design but somehow, I have been taken by Budapest’s beauty.

I have seen various old towns and cities of other European countries. Their beauty varies from one another. Budapest in Hungary is like a gem tucked in the Central part of Europe. Budapest has been cited as one of the beautiful cities in the world and a top travel destination by a famous travel magazine.

Budapest is the combination of 2 cities, the Buda and Pest side. These 2 are separated by several bridges and one of that is the famous Chain Bridge.

If you are visiting Budapest anytime soon, take note of these places when you are in the Pest side.

 

Andrassy Avenue

The Andrassy Avenue is touted as the Champs Elysees of Budapest. Museums, theaters and opera house line up along this grand Avenue. You can also visit the House of Terror which shows the horrors of what Hungary had experienced during the 20th century.

 

Danube Promenade / Danube Bank

The Danube river bank serves as the promenade of many locals and tourists alike. Here, you can find the Memorial of the Shoes. These shoes are bronze replicas of the Jews who were executed by the Arrow Crosses. They were made to remove their shoes by the bank before they were shot, and their bodies fell and drifted along the River Danube. It is a very poignant memorial to honor those who have perished during the ugly face of World War II.

 

Vaci Utca

This is a famous shopping area in Budapest. It is lined with shops and eateries with beautiful, ornate facade. You can stroll here and enjoy the atmosphere or just sit back in one of the coffee shops and people watch.

 

Hungarian National Parliament

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

Nestled in front of the Danube River, the Hungarian National Parliament is a prominent Neo-Gothic architectural structure in the Pest side of Budapest. It is easy to see this place from various trams plying through the area. Tourists can easily walk to the building from the Chain Bridge and traverse the lovely cobble stone street of Pest.

 

St. Stephen’s Basilica

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

I was very lucky to have stayed near the Istvan Basilica (St. Stephen’s Basilica) during my vacation in Budapest, Hungary last year. The view from my room was the dome of this beautiful Basilica. Regular mass is still being held in the Basilica. You can also tour the inside of the Basilica for free but take note of the timing as it is not open throughout the day. You can also climb up in the bell tower for a fee for a breath-taking view of Budapest.

The basilica is the largest in the city and can hold around 8,000 plus people. It also houses the relic of St. Stephen’s right hand which is also open for the public to view.

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

 

Széchenyi Baths

This is a huge bath complex in the whole of Europe.  It is relatively cheap to enjoy a good bath in this huge complex that is open until night time.

 

Great Market Hall

This place is located at the end of Szabadsag Bridge. It is also known as the Central Market Hall. It has 3 levels. The market sells a wide variety of goods from the famous paprika spice of Hungary, to the many tasty sausages and salamis, local produce, and other dry goods such as Hungarian embroidery and fabrics, and other arts and crafts. You can also grab some ready to eat food here or sample their local cuisine in the food stalls inside the market.

 

The Chain Bridge

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

The famous beautiful bridge that spans between the Buda and Pest sides of Budapest across the Danube River is called The Chain Bridge. I managed to cross the bridge on foot to reach the Buda side and the view is spectacular! I highly recommend this to visitors in Budapest. There is a pathway on each side of the bridge for pedestrians and bicycle access as well. And once you reach the middle part, take a good look of the beautiful scene in front of you. You get to see Buda and Pest!

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

 

The Great Synagogue

This Synagogue is the largest built in the entire of Europe around 1854-1859 in a Moorish style architecture. Next to it is the Jewish Museum which features their tradition, culture, costumes, and history.

 

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle is located inside the city park near the Széchenyi Baths. It was built during 1896 for the Millennial Exhibition in Hungary, and it also houses the Museum of Agriculture.

 

Let me share this brief video I have taken from the Buda Hill and it shows the marvelous vista of Pest.

Panoramic view of Pest from the Buda Hill

 

There are more to see in the Pest side of Budapest that I haven’t included here. If you have been to Budapest, you can share more places of interest by leaving a comment in this post.

I hope you will consider these places of interest when you plan your vacation to Budapest.

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Your August Travel Guide is Here!

** This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated when you click and make a purchase. Thanks.

 

Still have few weeks of summer to enjoy so if you are one of those who have yet to fulfill their “summer escapades” plan, then this travel guide is for you!

 

 

AUGUST TRAVEL GUIDE

 

Your August travel guide is packed with great deals and travel ideas to inspire you to savor the remaining weeks of summer’s last hooray before we enter the cooler months of September, October and onwards.

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A Vacation Idea When You Know You Deserve A Little More

 

Some people make it a point to be extravagant every time they plan a trip. They stay in the best hotels, visit exotic locations, and seek the rarest forms of recreation. This is an incredible feeling, but most people must put a little extra planning into a trip in order to make it memorable.

Many people do however, arrive a point in their lives where they realize that they need more out of a hard-earned vacation. After all, this is what is at the heart of enjoying a break, an escape, and an adventure. Enjoying a trip more means taking every aspect of hard work out of the equation. Truly memorable trips are just that because of one key thing. There should be no hard work at all!

The reason many people insist on certain luxuries when they travel is to eliminate the sweat factor. Pursuing unique amenities is best enjoyed when a person knows that they have earned something special. Finding something truly special when it comes to travel means going beyond standard fixtures of luxury. It means zero effort in all forms of planning and arranging. It also means luxury that is ultimately private and personal.

If someone wants a truly exceptional and carefree travel experience, they seriously need to consider letting their vacation cares go by hiring a concierge service. This type of service is a bit different than the concierge found at a hotel’s front desk. It is a service that takes custom travel information and designs an experience where the client doesn’t worry about a single thing. All travel, dining, recreation, and festivities are the concern of the service.

Best of all, a concierge travel service allows clients to stay in luxury vacation villas ranging from penthouses to modern mansions. Groceries are stocked, private security is on-site, the pool is prepared, and there could even be a chartered helicopter waiting to go anywhere. The villa is completely private, and the client doesn’t have to lift one finger during the stay.

This is true luxury! It’s not about brands, expenses, and bragging rights. It’s about a person having the satisfaction of knowing that a true vacation reward was earned and experienced. A truly luxurious vacation happens when a concierge team does the work. Consider this option the next time a window opens to take the trip of a lifetime.

 

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

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Adventure: That’s The Real Reason Idaho Is Called The Gem State

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We have a fascination with the nicknames given to the US states; so much so, we recently took off to Idaho simply because of its moniker. We just did it. We packed the car and went on a backpacking whim. It wasn’t until we got there that we found out different people believe different things. Some say it was a translation that means Gem of the Mountain, others say it is to do with the native gemstone garnet, and some say it is simply because this state is spoiled with natural beauty. We couldn’t argue with any of them.

But whatever the origins of its name, one thing we realized very quickly was, wow, does that place deserve its name. Summertime in Idaho is amazing. There are just so many adventures to be had in Idaho, and here are the best of the bunch:

Jump Creek Hike

When we get to a place, we love to ask the locals what they recommend. Forget Tripadvisor or seeing what a place looks like first, we just love asking locals for their number one must-do Idaho activity, and so many people said hike Jump Creek in Marsing. We don’t want to give too much away, but there is a secluded waterfall and it is beautiful. That’s all we’ll say, though.

Payette River Adventure

Everyone has a little streak of adventure in them, somewhere, and what better way to let that beast out then to get wet and wild on the Payette River. The whitewater rafting here is immense. It’s so exciting. The adrenaline rush, the sun, the splashes of cool water, the banks and banks of pine trees and mountain views. Yeah, it’s an absolute must do.

Swim At Sandy Point

It’s summer. Nothing beats hanging out by the water with your friends and family in the summer, and that is what makes the Sandpoint City Beach Park one of the most awesome places anywhere. You step out of the Best Western Edgewater Resort and bam! you’re hit with these magnificent views down Lake Pend Oreille. Swimming, boating, volleyball, lounging in the sun, tennis, a stroll downtown; it’s all at your fingertips.

Shoshone Falls

We mentioned it earlier, how the Gem State got its name from its natural beauty. Well, the Shoshone Falls give credence to that myth. It’s almost 50 feet higher than Niagara Falls and it is breathtaking. It’s that tonic for tired eyes that everyone needs to see. The sounds of the crashing water, the rock formations, the sheer size. If this sounds like your thing, then you need to get to Twin Falls this summer.

A Fair Like No Other

Apparently, in Idaho, the Western Idaho Fair is like the last hurrah of the summer that everyone gets involved with. It’s that last bit of fun before school starts again. However, when we say fair, what we mean is a party like no other. It’s as if the 1950s has returned, bringing all the fairground rides and rock n’ roll spirit along with it. You won’t believe it until you see it with your own two eyes, stamp along with the music all night and wake up the next day still smiling.

 

 

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Your March Travel Guide Is Here

Yes, spring is coming very soon and it falls in the lively month of March! If you are raring to go after being cooped at home due to the harsh winter season, then let this March guide help you find the best deals in travel destinations.

Here’s your March travel guide and start planning before it gets too busy. Remember, Spring Break!

March Travel Guide - Up to 20% off select destinations now through 3/29 at Tours4fun.com!
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Feeling Stressed? Head To France To Restore Your Wellbeing!

During our everyday busy lives, many of us often find it hard to relax. Whether it’s work, family issues or simply trying to fit everything into your schedule, it’s no wonder so many people feel stressed and exhausted. Some studies suggest that certain modern advances, such as social media and processed foods, can also lead to people feeling stressed and even depressed. If you have been feeling a bit overwhelmed of late, you have probably considered doing what any sane person would in this instance: booking a vacation! But before you do so, stop and think about what you need out of your vacation. So many of us take a break for a week or so to simply forget about our troubles; then we come home and find things exactly as we left them. This can end up being a vicious circle that doesn’t end your stress and also doesn’t let you fully enjoy your vacation. With this in mind, have you ever thought about going on a vacation specifically designed for your wellbeing? Wellbeing vacations have seen a huge spike in popularity over recent years, with many hardworking people leaving the city in favor of solitude and a week to rejuvenate themselves. So where exactly can you go to find such places of calm and relaxation? Well, if you are looking at Europe, there’s no better place than chic and cosmopolitan France. Here are just some of the best French escapes where you can enjoy taking some much-needed time out.



The mountain resort

Think of rural France and one thing that probably comes to mind is the French Alps. They stretch across and into a number of different countries, but in France they boast 24 peaks – one of which is the famous Mont Blanc, standing at an altitude of 4,810 meters. Sure, the cities and countryside of France has plenty to offer too. But if you are looking for somewhere otherworldly and serene, there really is no better location than the mountains. The air is fresh and crisp, and you may find yourself gasping at the snowy backdrop – unspoiled and like something out of a movie scene. There are plenty of resorts to choose from, some with luxury  accommodation such as Freedom Ski, Morzine. Trying your hand at skiing down some of the famous runs is a must – and we all know exercise is great for your wellbeing, as it is a natural mood-booster.


The yoga retreat

If chilly temperatures and high-octane activities aren’t for you, you may find moving down to the south of France a little more suitable. Temperatures here are generally warm, as the climate is on the cusp of Mediterranean. This means dry, hot summers, warm falls and mild winters. Therefore, you can be sure that whatever time of year you choose to visit, you will be able to spend some time outside. This is just as well, as the landscape is frequently stunning, making it a great place to attend a yoga retreat. These kind of retreats often involve practicing mindfulness and meditation alongside the yoga, as well as eating a fresh, vegan diet (almost always provided for you). So what’s in it for you? Yoga can bring your mind and body back into equilibrium, and taking the time to learn it can mean you are equipped with a new life skill. It can be the perfect way to unwind and feel ready to tackle anything life throws at you.


The red wine detox

Okay, so this one does appear to be in stark contrast to the other two. But you may have heard about the popularity of red wine in France – after all, the country is home to some of the very best wineries and vineyards. Popular varieties you may have heard of include Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. According to certain studies, red wine is said to have a number of positive health effects – such as promoting a healthy heart, lowering cholesterol and warding off dementia. Health retreats where red wine plays a notable role have become very popular in France in recent years, where the alcohol is drank alongside healthy home-cooked meals. Due to a culture based heavily around food and drink, French wine is actually designed to be tasted alongside certain types of food. A bit of indulgence, on a healthy scale, can only be a good thing for both your health and mental wellbeing. If there has ever been an excuse to pick up a bottle of the good stuff, it’s this!


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